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Featured CAUGHT UP IN THE AIR? RAPTURE OR WHAT?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by sooda, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    This place in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 has been the subject of debate in eschatological circles. For futurists and dispensationalists this is one of the most relied places when it comes to the theory and teaching of the rapture.

    As always context is king. Quoting scriptures is not enough to teach sound doctrine. Understanding the original audience and the context is paramount to interpreting the meaning. We have been separated from the original audience by thousands of years, by culture, history and language. By comparing Scripture with Scripture, we can get a good idea of the authors original intent which will lead us to accuracy of interpretation.

    It was invented by John Nelson Darby in 1830 but was made popular in America by theScofield Reference Bible and following elaborate End Time event charts published by Clarence Larkin. By the twentieth century, the “physical rapture” of the Church became a dominant eschatological view in Charismatic circles. It is barely 200 years since it has been propagated as none in the early church history taught in this direction.

    Since Israel became a nation in 1948 many endtime prophecies have been built on her being the calendar for events to conclude the end of the world. As many prophets declared that the generation that saw her return to the land would be the terminal one. Edgar C. Whisenant wrote a book,88 Reasons Why the Rapture Is in 1988. After having sold Six million copies of his work he caused quite a stir in the Christian community with several having to resign their jobs and some sold their homes.

    Just like many who have written books, movies and other materials we have seen a plethora of failed prophecies of Jesus returning to snatch saints from the earth physically.

    We must first understand that when Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians, he was writing to Thessalonian Christians who lived in the first century. This same people where undergoing severe persecution from their Jewish brethren and the Roman community for their faith. They were expecting the return of the Lord in their time and knew that their present persecution was an indicator of his soon return in their time.

    This is how Paul starts;

    2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love anda steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; 5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we c]'>[c]proved to be among you for your sake. 6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

    9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from THE WRATH to come. (1 Thessalonians 1)

    He then in continues;

    14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same SUFFERINGS at the hands of your own COUNTRYMEN, even as they did from THE JEWS, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But WRATH has come upon them to the utmost. (1 Thessalonians 2)

    He sends Timothy to them to encourage them in their trying moments;

    2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and ENCOURAGE YOU AS TO YOUR FAITH,3 so that no one would be adisturbed by these AFFLICTIONS; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. 4 For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to SUFFER AFFLICTION; and so it came to pass, as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.” (1 Thessalonians 3)

    Jesus spoke about this in Luke 21

    16 But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all because of My name. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your k]'>[k]lives.”

    Then he proceeds to give them hope;

    13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep k]'>[k]in Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 4)

    So who are those who sleep in Jesus? They are those who lost their lives on earth for their faith. He describes them as asleep because he knew of the promise of resurrection at the return of the Lord Jesus when he came in judgment over that Old covenant age. They would wake up to life immortality and they would be raised incorruptible while those alive physically being changed spiritually would go from their physical body to their celestial body after death on earth and not be kept in hades.
    Paul taught that the resurrection was “about to happen” in his day:
    Acts 24:15 (NKJV)
    “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be (mello -about to be) a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
    The resurrection of the dead was to fulfil the promise made to their fathers which they eagerly expected. That was their hope.

    Acts 26:6-8 (NKJV)
    “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 “To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?


    When was this expected? You can see it from the language and tenses he uses;

    1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NKJV)
    For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?


    2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 (NKJV)
    since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us….


    This return was to fulfil simultaneously fulfil some events that would clearly mark the end of that former age. The resurrection being made at the arrival of God’s kingdom at the expense of that former temple being burnt down.

    The Thessalonians believers will be given rest from their enemies when the Lord returns in His second coming. If this did not happen in their lifetime, then Paul gave them false hope in deceit. Moreover there is no way a rapture fits in this discourse.


    Now let’s consider three important Greek words in 1 Thessalonians 4:17:
    1. HARPAZO – “Caught up”
    2. APANTESIS – “meet”
    3. AER – “air”,

    The word HARPAZO does not necessarily mean physical removal. It can mean “to seize on, claim for one’s self.” The other time we see this word was by Paul himself in 2 Corinthians 12:2-6 when he tells how he caught up to the third heaven. The experience is not quite clear as it unfolded by he could only explain it as a trance and not as a physical relocation.

    continued

    CAUGHT UP IN THE AIR? RAPTURE OR WHAT? - Residentkingdom
     
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  2. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    IMO, whatever happens, happens, so I don't lose any sleep over it whatsoever.
     
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  3. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    . . . 'or what' is the option.
     
  4. Enoch07

    Enoch07 It's all a sick freaking joke.
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    False prophecy.

    Margaret MacDonald (visionary) - Wikipedia

    Margaret McDonald was a mentally Ill woman. The rapture is a delusion for weak minded people hoping for an easy way out. There is no chosen ones, we all get to stay here and suffer together til the bitter end.
     
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  5. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    She sure died young.. Looks to me like Darby knew it was false and blamed her.

    Margaret MacDonald (visionary) - Wikipedia
     
  7. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    In reality, that's about all any of us can do.
     
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  8. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    I entered Christianity in 1974, by the efforts of two American Sunday School Union Missionaries, who attended a Community Church, Pastored by a Man who was essentially a Baptist. I'd read a book called 'The Late Great Planet Earth' ostensibly by Hal Lindsey. There was a quarrel over his Authorship. That book pushed things like the Rapture and so forth.

    These days, the shine if gone off all that for me, so keep my own counsel as to my worship. Sadly, as I have witnessed, doctrine is largely determined by the largest contributor. I do not know if the same occurs in Islam and other beliefs, but since there are humans present I assume so. In one place I attended the Pastor, who became my friend, said they attended classes about collections of published sermons and told which ones to use, and what subjects were likely to 'empty the Pews', and when to preach on Tithing.

    Published and accepted religion seems full of Saccharine to me, so to the "Abrahamic Belief" for me at this time, though Shia Islam has my attention right now. Basically, for me, Islam would be perfect were it not for the presence of some angry and twisted humans. Lacking a basic understanding of Anthropology, and the even very basic understanding of the evolution of Languages they insist on a very narrow, and limiting interpretation of the identity of Allah SWT, and of the one called Isa PBUH (Jesus to Christians). That some Muslims would murder those who see him as the Son of God, dramatically undermines my estimation of their credibility. It seems to me that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam would be almost the same, or at least complementary if there was not this 'blown out of perspective' conflict about the identity of one man, and a silly, shameful conflict it is.

    There is another system that insists that God is flesh and bone, which demonstrates to me the lack of a basic understanding of the identity of the creator. There is not Autobiography of God out there. He will more fully define himself when he wishes to do that. There are stone engravings all over the planet that depict who the ancients 'thought' God was.

    Thankfully, the one I know as Allah SWT does not murder anyone for lack of understanding, and has been utterly kind to me over what at times feels like an overly long lifespan. Humans and their twisted ways have been the source of the pain I have felt in life. However those who were cruel in my life have been used by God to teach me to cry out to him, and to seek understanding of him, and to be as obedient as I know how. Alhumduallah.
     
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  9. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    None of those scriptures desctibe rapture. This is another reason I did not want to join with a regular Baptist church, the bible does not teach the rapture its a fantasy that Christians use to make stupid movies with , rapture movies. I forget the name of the popular ones yall know which ones the ones that scared me when I was a kid.But its not true and infact the new testament says Jesus will come back to earth and reign 1000 years sorry.
     
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  10. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    Left Behind movies which use to scare me.
     
  11. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Wow! How about some Steven King or 'The Shining'
     
  12. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    Not scary but way better!
     
  13. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Ah...the rapture. Probably the most misunderstood scripture in the Bible.

    What is the context, and who is Paul speaking about?

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.....

    "Moreover, brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who are sleeping in death, so that you may not sorrow as the rest do who have no hope. 14 For if we have faith that Jesus died and rose again, so too God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in death through Jesus. 15 For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death; 16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. 17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. 18 So keep comforting one another with these words."

    So Paul is speaking to his Christian "brothers" those whom Christ also identified as his "brothers" in Matthew 25:40. Paul is addressing those who will rule with Christ in heaven....those with "the heavenly calling" (Hebrews 3:1) It must be noted that not all Christians have the "heavenly calling".

    Paul is speaking about those who are asleep (in death) when Jesus returns, as well as those who are still alive at that time....not all Christians, just those of the ruling class who are to be "resurrected first" (Revelation 20:6)
    He says that those of that group who are sleeping in their graves when the Lord returns (i.e. when he returned to take up his Kingship at the beginning of the last days) that those who were in their graves, would all be raised "together" as immortal spirits....all except the ones who survived (were still alive) at the time of Christ's second coming or manifestation.

    He says that Christ will descend with an Archangel's voice and call all of his "brothers' out of their graves, installing them in the places that he said he went to "prepare" for them. (John 14:2-3)

    But those still alive on earth would be transformed when it was time for the final judgment. They would not need to sleep in death but their transformation would be instantaneous.

    1 Corinthians 15:51-52...
    "Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not all fall asleep in death, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed."

    Since the Bible does not teach that we have an immortal soul that departs from the body at death, this is speaking about an amazing transformation that Christ's "brothers" will undergo.....from a creature of flesh and blood, to a creature who has a spirit body capable of dwelling in the presence of God.

    Since the majority of this group are already in heaven now, (the last days are almost over) it only needs the word from God that it is time for the marriage of the Lamb to take place in heaven, with all of those who will rule with him, ready to take up their assignment once the earth is cleansed of all wickedness.

    What can we look forward to then?

    Revelation 21:2-4...
    "I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

    We can look forward to a reconciliation with God, with his Christ shepherding the redeemed ones of mankind to a life with no pain, tears or death....all the things that caused us grief will have "passed away".

    This is the "good news of the Kingdom" that Jesus taught us to preach.
     
  14. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    But its not the rapture, thank you for making my point. The rapture teaches some of Christs brothers Christians will be left on earth to run and hide from the beast the antiChrist. It says nothing about anyone being left on earth infact so.
     
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  15. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Since there are two groups seen attributing salvation to God and the Lamb in Revelation 7, the first group who are numbered and said to have been bought from the earth as "firstfruits" to God (Revelation 14:1-3) and are seen standing on Mt Zion with Jesus, these are in heaven....but the second group are said to "come out of the great tribulation" which occurs on earth. (Matthew 24:21) So that means that there will be survivors of this world's end left on earth.

    Those who go to heaven (Christ and his bride) are seen bringing their rulership to mankind on earth, with the result that all of the things that cause grief to us, will be removed. (Revelation 21:2-4)

    God never intended for any human to go to heaven in the beginning....all were supposed to live forever in paradise on earth. We were never supposed to grow old, get sick or die.....all of that feels foreign to us, even though it is the only life we have ever known. We weren't meant to experience grief or tragedy....we have no "program" for that. It was Adam's sin that introduced all of that.
     
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  16. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    Mathew 21 22 says 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened,

    This is speaking of the end of the world before Jesus comes back, not after Jesus comes back then he leaves some of the saved on earth, no where does it say that.
     
  17. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    (You've been here on RF, like, only 2 months, and you have over 4200 posts already? What's up with that?)

    To answer your OP, it's about those who take part in the first Resurrection. Those who are Christ's "brothers", which doesn't include the "sheep", both descibed in Matthew 25:32-46
     
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  18. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    But wait: those days are cut short, so flesh will be saved....get it?
     
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  19. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Exactly.. the Rapture teaches Christians will escape the tribulation by being caught up to heaven. But Jesus said flee to the mountains to avoid the tribulation.
     
  20. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe the scripture speaks for itself. So the idea that it is for weak minded people is not an argument that the scripture is incorrect only an argument for a person not liking what it says.
     
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